Classic Rewatch: The Green Death

The Green Death

Who knows what complex intricacies of chemistry and biology go into the attraction of people in love. Sometimes, the introductions and courting span months, years, even decades, before any “legally binding” pairing takes place. Other times, an overeducated Welsh mushroom farmer in corduroy bell-bottoms and a David Cassidy haircut swoops in, and your BFF up and deserts you to get married inside of a day.

Pfft. Companions. What can you do, eh?

This week, we bid a fond farewell to Jo Grant, as she parts company with the Third Doctor in the Season 10 closer, “The Green Death”. Joined once again by Don Klees of Acorn Media, we look at this emotionally charged (and ecologically relevant) story. We discuss the exceptional pacing, performances, and the 101 effective uses of genetically modified fungi.

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Classic Rewatch: Planet of the Daleks

Planet of the Daleks

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. It was a season of “classic” Doctor Who that had fans then and now reveling in the performances, loving the on-screen chemistry, and even enjoying the plotlines and creativity that writers and producers were bringing to the table.

And then…Terry Nation came back. Without much to offer in the ‘originality’ department. But hey — purple fur cloaks for everybody!

Joined this week by television producer and devout classic Whovian, Dave Barsky, we go many, many levels below the surface to find the positives in the 1973 story, “Planet of the Daleks”. We discuss the performances of Pertwee, Manning, and Horsfall, the absence of Roger Delgado, and the apparent importance of rocks. Lots, and lots of rocks. Grab your favourite purple shag carpet, sit back with a warm bowl of strawberry jam curative, and enjoy!

EXTRA: We play a little “Five Rounds, Rapid” Q&A with our guest Dave.

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Classic Rewatch: Frontier In Space

Frontier In Space

Doctor Who has always been rife with complex backstories and themes of conflict drawn from the news and events of the time. Call it “present day problems, presented in another day”, if you will. From workers striking against the regime, to species in tense stalemates on the brink of war, to contending with the horrific aftermath of genocide and mutually assured destruction, the program has used our own chaotic world and its occupants as the inspiration for otherworldly tales. When we see the similarities between the happenings on screen, among strange alien species, in far-off locations, at unfathomable leaps into the future, it can certainly give us pause.

This week, we’re joined by friend and fellow podcaster Drew Meyer (of Who and Company) to enjoy — and ponder — the final Pertwee episode to feature Roger Delgado as the Master, ‘Frontier In Space’. Six episodes go by seamlessly in this interplanetary skirmish in the borderlands, with exceptional performances by Delgado (possibly his best), Manning (equally absolutely superb), and the supporting cast, as well as a most enjoyable twist in the final seconds, letting us know that the harrowing tale is not yet complete. We all agree that this story deserves rewatching, as well as recommendations to those wanting to dive deeper into the Third Doctor’s tenure.

EXTRA: We have a few minutes at the Long Island Doctor Who (L.I. Who 5) convention to sit and talk with the pioneering director of Doctor Who himself, Waris Hussein!

Waris Hussein LIWho5

Photo credit @kimalysong

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Classic Rewatch: Carnival of Monsters

Yes, we’ve been doing this podcast for well over five years. Yes, we’re all pretty positive, upbeat people who not only share enjoyment of the Doctor Who legacy, but enjoy each other’s company, as well. But no, we don’t always agree. In fact, in instances like this, we differ wildly. It’s okay, though. We’ll keep Jay around because he’s a genuinely good-hearted, intelligent, humorous guy. (Even if he would have no idea what a PRECIOUS GIFT of a classic story this was if it charged up behind him and dope-slapped him across the back of the melon. But we kid, we kid!)

Our Classic Rewatch progress brings us to the mad “Incredible Journey Meets Groundhog Day” conditions of “Carnival of Monsters”. We discuss the many, many sci-fi tropes that Robert Holmes wields in this Season 10 adventure, the ongoing awesomeness of Jo Grant, the first glimpse of not-Harry-Sullivan, the effectiveness/detriment of an intentionally underdeveloped political backstory, and the costumes. Oh, the COSTUMES. Knock back a quick chota peg to brace your nerves, and let’s begin!

EXTRA: Our interview with our most beloved, incomparable, and endlessly energized Jo Grant herself, Katy Manning, joining us once again from the festivities at L.I. Who 5!

Sorry again that the baby decided to nibble on you, Katy. We still love you!

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Classic Rewatch: The Time Monster

The Time Monster

Oh, those beloved gems of the Classic Who era, those perfect vertices between the complexity of script and clunkiness of execution that make them so near and dear to our Gallifreyan hearts. Those episodes where a handful of minutes can separate one of the most touching emotional dialogues the Doctor has ever shared with a companion, from one of the goofiest looking monsters ever to flap wildly about the screen. Dear, sweet 1972, you will always be a golden year to us.

This week, we’re pleased to be joined by Will and John of the Mutter’s Spiral podcast, chatting away about the six-part Pertwee and Delgado adventure in Atlantis, ‘The Time Monster’. With the ideal amalgam of content and camp, character and craziness, it’s an immediately enjoyable story with enough to please both rabid Third Doctor and Jo Grant fans, while still giving those of us with a little sense of self-effacing humor plenty to snicker at — with love, always with love. The Master has never been closer to triumph, the Doctor and Jo have never been more symbiotic, the supporting cast is exceptional, and the monster is…well, it’s a flying, flapping bird suit made of toilet paper. (What, did you think we were going to sugar-coat it?)

EXTRA: We spend a big ‘ol chunk of time thrilled over the BBC One announcement of the three new companions — no, wait, “friends” — who will be joining the Thirteenth Doctor in Series 11. ME also, of course, ponder the careful phrasing of the official press release, and get stereotypically pedantic about semantics.

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